Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar pledged to oppose the naming of the sports complex in Mumbai's Malad after Tipu Sultan and assured to rename the ground on the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj if they come to power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
The inauguration of the park in the name of 18th-century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan on the Republic day by Congress leader and guardian minister of Mumbai Aslam Shaikh in his constituency has sparked controversy.
Speaking to ANI, Bhatkhalkar said, "Shiv Sena's Hindutva is bogus. They talk of Hindutva just for the sake of it. It is well aware of the naming of Malad ground on the name of Tipu Sultan. we will oppose this inauguration by organising dharna with our other BJP leaders. We won't let this happen and we promise if we come in power in BMC we will name this ground on the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj." The BJP MLA further alleged that Aslam Sheikh is the same person who wrote a letter in the support of terrorist Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Bombay blasts.
"Mumbaikars are now well aware of Shiv Sena's new face. They are doing so just to be in power. Aslam Sheikh is the same person who had written a letter for the support of a terrorist Yakub Memon," he said.
Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishad spokesperson Shriraj Nair said that the naming of the complex after Tipu Sultan is being done with an intention to disrupt peace in the city.
"This definitely is with an intention of ruining the peace of our Mumbai and could have been avoided, Our Maharashtra is a Sant Bhoomi and naming a project in the name of a brutal barbaric Anti-Hindu is condemnable," he tweeted.
On the other hand, Sheikh, speaking on the matter said that the BJP is only politicising the issue as they had also named gardens and roads on the name of Tipu Sultan.
"BJP is just politicising this issue. When they were in politics many such Gardens, roads were given the name of Tipu Sultan. Why do they have problems now?" he asked.
The Congress leader further termed Tipu Sultan "brave" and said that there should not be any issues in assigning a place his name.
"Tipu Sultan was brave and if his name is assigned to any place then what's the issue. We do development, not politics," Sheikh said.